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Monday, March 5


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#1 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

Items from Serge Lifar's collection of Ballets Russes memorabilia are on display in Geneva, prior to sale.

But by the 1970s, the collection was becoming unmanageable. Lifar was a hoarder. “He never threw anything away,” says the dealer Julian Barran, who, as a director of Sotheby’s, conducted several sales on his behalf. In 1975, Sotheby’s sold Diaghilev’s library of rare Russian books which Lifar had inherited, and in 1984, a further 227 works for £830,000. This included a costume designed by Picasso for the 1917 ballet Parade, which was bought by the V&A for £65,000.

After Lifar died in 1986, Lillian Ahlefeldt looked after his collection, and made several disposals. In 1989, she arranged through Sotheby’s to sell Diaghilev’s collection of Alexander Pushkin letters to the Pushkin Museum in St Petersburg, and in 2002 she sold 35 items from his estate, including the silk handkerchief Diaghilev held when he died, for £310,000. It was, said Sotheby’s, “probably the last major archive of materials relating to the Ballet Russes to be offered for sale at auction”.



#2 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:41 AM

A review of Ballet Black by Sarah Frater in The Stage.

Despite its small size and modest funding, Ballet Black is a textbook case of how to run a dance troupe. Founder and director Casa Pancho has a strong sense of artistic priorities, hiring able choreographers while avoiding expensive costumes and sets. In this, the company’s eleventh year, she has commissioned no less than four new works, from Royal Ballet dancer Jonathan Watkins, Rambert dancer Jonathan Goddard, Richard Alston dancer Martin Lawrance, and Scottish Ballet’s new artistic director Christopher Hampson. It’s an impressive list, and they have created for Ballet Black exactly the kind of small-scale low-key pieces that show the dancers at their best.



#3 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:45 AM

Reviews of Ballet San Jose.

The Bay Citizen

Kovitch and everyone else looked far better, moving with zestful unity, in Interplay, a company premiere and a welcome Jerome Robbins playground frolic from 1945 that foreshadowed the witty street style of his West Side Story. It was staged by Robbins veterans Edward Verso, Elyse Borne, and Chapman. Notable performances came from Seth Parker, Maykel Solas, Bethan Namey, and Akira Takahashi, a fearless pyrotechnician.


The San Francisco Chronicle

Principal Maykel Solas, the only male in the piece, made a pleasant if rather cautious impression. Maybe all those women had him watching his steps. He was limber and light-footed, but lacked dynamism and presence. It was left to Amy Marie Briones, in the featured female role, to hit the high notes. An exacting dancer with a knack for uncanny stillness on point, she stitched out her steps with fluid precision. Near the end, as if she'd stored up all her energy for it, Briones whirled with gyroscopic drive.


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#4 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:46 AM

A review of Los Angeles Ballet in "Swan Lake" by Laura Bleiberg for LA Weekly's blog.

Neary and Christensen opted for a straightforward, basic reading of the iconic, 1895 ballet. This work is an enormous risk for a young troupe with limited experience as an ensemble. The co-directors trimmed crucial mime sequences (leaving the story opaque). Step sequences were simplified. Acting was muted. The ending was a head scratcher, with the evil sorcerer defeated, but the swans still enchanted, Odette alive and the Prince alone center stage. With 32 dancers, L.A. Ballet doesn't have enough bodies for a full cast of peasants, noblemen, character dancers and swans (they fielded a respectable 16). Everyone was doing double and triple duty.

That meant changing costumes during each of the three intervals. So we waited. And waited. Intermissions lasted 30 minutes or more. The ballet ran an overly long three-and-a-half hours.



#5 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:49 AM

Reviews of a gala celebrating Anna Pavlova.

The Evening Standard

More than half the dances in this curious tribute to Anna Pavlova were created after her death. Instead of the promised menu of classics and rarities associated with perhaps the greatest ballerina of the past 120 years, we got a pot-luck of whatever the stars cooked up in advance.

At least, in light of recent visa fiascos, the stars did turn up. There were a few no-shows but an evening that can boast Alina Cojocaru, Ulyana Lopatkina, Andrey Merkuriev, Sergei Polunin, Tamara Rojo and Svetlana Zakharova is hardly lacking in sparkle.


The Arts Desk

Fifteen numbers swept lavishly by (organised splendidly by ENB’s director Wayne Eagling with Ensemble Productions), interspersed (less splendidly, to butchered music) by many photos and snippets of Pavlova. The choreographers were British, Russian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, American. The choreography ranged from what Pavlova knew at the Imperial Ballet - classics - to dubious contemporary preferences of the guest stars, which is very Pavlovian. One glaring absence: the choreographer who practically made Pavlova, Michel Fokine. Not even The Dying Swan, the calling card he made for her - given in music only.



#6 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

Joseph Walsh of Houston Ballet is promoted to principal.

As a principal, Walsh will be cast in more leading roles and partake in more performances. The boost also nods to his ability to execute various styles, his physical prowess to take on a full evening-length production and his standing as a positive role model for students at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy.



#7 dirac

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:59 AM

A review of Ballet San Jose for examiner.com.

The star of the evening was Maykel Solas. As the only male character in Paquita, he burst onto the stage with infectious energy. For a good chunk of the story, each of the female dancers gets to show her stuff in a delightful and impressive if somewhat repetitive display. But when it was Solas’ turn, the energy level amped up. He was jumping three times as high and as fast as the girls, gliding from one end of the stage to another in three or four effortless leaps. Leaping like a gazzelle, light as a bird, with muscular legs sculpted like a Rodin, watching him made me want to get up and jump and run......



#8 dirac

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:39 AM

A local association offers a discount to students interested in attending a performance by Misty Copeland in Orange County.

Copeland, the only black soloist at the American Ballet Theatre in two decades, is a former San Pedro resident who recently visited Long Beach and San Pedro as part of a Black History Month presentation.



#9 dirac

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

A discussion of the differences between running for-profit and not-for-profit organizations by Michael Kaiser for The Huffington Post.

When someone in authority -- a board chair or an executive or artistic director for example -- uses power unwisely, the entire organization can come to a screeching halt.

We have seen too many examples of this behavior in recent years. We have witnessed numerous boards threaten to shut down orchestras if the musicians do not open up their contract and accept lower pay and fewer weeks of work. We have seen the Miami City Ballet upended by the demands of a few board members that the company's founder, Edward Villella, retire.




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